The Teskey Brothers have an understandable affinity with WOMADelaide, but this Monday night marks their first appearance at the world music festival, when they will share the stage with Midnight Oil.
The band’s bass player, Brendon Love, reflects on making the transition from audience member to performer.
“I have been as a punter but I haven’t played there. Although it’s been on my bucket list since I was a wee lad,” he laughs. “So it’s pretty exciting to be able to play it.
“I’ve been there a few times and while I’m not a salesman for WOMAD or Adelaide, it’s such a cool festival. I just love walking around: there’s just so many things I’ve discovered through the festival that I just never would have discovered any other way.”
And Love believes that Adelaide is the perfect festival city.
“I love playing there and I love the Fringe festival that goes on there as well. Adelaide has just got it figured out when it comes to festivals I reckon; like every festival there is just the perfect blend of just the right amount of relaxed and its’ not too busy. The scheduling is really good: you’re not at one thing and thinking I’ve got to go see this other thing; it’s really cool.”
In fact, the last time the Teskey Brothers played here during Mad March was at the Fringe.
“We played the Fringe in the Garden of Unearthly Delights; it’s a great little city. I remember we played and then I went and watched Sam Simmons perform. And there were so many weird quirky little thing, it’s just great discovering new things you wouldn’t normally discover in any other way.”
It’s been a huge few years for the Teskey Brothers and the journey from Fringe to the WOMAD main stage is indicative of the momentum they have gathered. But these recent successes have been built on many years of hard work in the music industry.
“To the outsider I’m sure it seems quick but for us it has been 20 years of working day jobs and trying to make ends meet. I mean it is an exponential growth though, like it’s not a linear taper from playing to no one to touring the world I will admit, but it’s been a slow adjustment for us I guess.
So how is the outfit dealing with their newfound fame?
“Fame is such a dirty word and we’re not famous by any stretch and in Australia people just don’t care. They like your music for what you do but people aren’t stopping us on the street or anything. I mean there’s big shows but when there’s not a show I’m just a moron down the river walking his dog!”
And certainly the 2021 WOMAD concert series promises to be one of those big shows.
You can catch the Teskey Brothers at WOMADelaide on the evening of Monday March 8, playing with Midnight Oil & First Nations Collaborators: Makarrata Live and Siberian Tiger. Tickets and details can be found here.